I was at my desk working on the plans for the upcoming battle when the door on my tent was thrown open. I sighed, immediately knowing who it was.
"What's up, bitches?!" Rachel yelled out at the top of her loud, American lungs.
"Rachel, please don't yell," my English lieutenant, Evie Montgomery said. "Even Natalia can restrain herself when it's required."
"Whatever. The point is, do you have the battle plans, General?"
"I'm trying to finish them," I said in the calmest voice I could manage.
"General," Natalia Vasilevsky said in her Soviet accent, marching into the tent and standing at attention.
"Yes, Natalia?" I dared to ask, looking up.
"We have finished with the battle against the latest Corruption Crystal we've discovered in Khorat."
"Very good, Natalia." I reward her with some of my signature head pats.
"G-General..." she stuttered softly, blushing.
"Relax. Go help yourself to some oil and get your platoons repaired."
"Y-yes sir," she responded, her usually hard face soft with redness as she exited my tent.
"General, I'm concerned about the way you treat your subordinates," Evie noted.
"What, equally?" I ask her wryly, giving her some head pats as well, causing her to blush vividly.
"O-oh my... Sir..." She did nothing to resist which clearly meant that she enjoyed it, although she never has admitted it.
"Ooh, ooh, me too!" Rachel yelled, jumping under my hand and rubbing it with her forehead, giggling to herself.
"Rachel one at a time," Evie scolded. I just laughed to myself. "Why don't you go train the new recruits or something?"
"She has a point," I noted. "Do it, Rachel."
"Yes Sir," Rachel said, saluting before she ran out of the tent. "Light recruits! Attention!" The Light-class recruits lined up in the sparring field. "Who do we have joining us today?"
"Amy, Ma'am," an M2 said.
"Pansy, Ma'am!" a Panzer I said.
"Annie, Ma'am," a Panzer II said.
"Arina, Ma'am. BT-7." Arina saluted.
"Crisa, Madam. Crusader III," Crisa saluted.
"Good," Rachel said. "Now join up with your fellow Light-class tanks in the L-barrack."
"Yes Ma'am," the new recruits saluted and marched off to the barracks, entering the one marked with a big, light-blue L.
"So you're the newbies?" a Crusader MKII asked.
"Yes," Pansy answered. "Are you the squad leader here?"
"No, that would be Renee," she gestured to the Renault FT, who was going over some written strategies.
"I'm a tad busy at the moment," Renee said, having overheard, not looking up from the notepad. "I'll check in with you at 23:40"
"She's always so serious when she really works hard," a Leichttraktor said with a warm smile. "I'm Trixy. You four must be Pansy, Annie, Crisa, and Arina."
"Yep!" Annie asserted.
"Well go ahead and choose a bunk and locker."
"Get things settled, Trixy," Renee said. "I need to talk to the General."
"Ooh," the other tanks cooed.
"Oh zip it," Renee scolded, blushing slightly and marching out of the barrack. Camp life was a hard one, but not entirely challenging as the base was set up far from the actual front lines with the Corrupted, tanks and armies turned evil by some strange, evil force. They looked like death and wreaked with countless evil auras. I was always sending out tanks, pushing the front lines farther and farther through the land, to hopefully find the source of the Corruption. Occasionally, I would send out 15 tanks, only for four or five to come back without needing repairs.
"Repairs and training equals modification," I always say to my tanks and soldiers. Well, I say that to my soldiers before running off to flirt with the lieutenants. Why, you ask? Well can you really blame the only guy in a literal army of girls?2: Life as a Light-Class
Revelry sounded at 05:30 the following morning. The Light-class tanks stood at the ready as Renee marched through the bunk room.
"Alright tanks, before we head to the mess hall for our breakfast, let's make sure the barracks are clean and flush. Understood?"
"Yes Ma'am," the rest of the tanks responded.
"For the new recruits, I have an announcement. As a Light-class tank, we are at the bottom of the hierarchy. We do some pretty interesting chores around base, but that's mainly because we're small and nimble. Otherwise, those Heavy-class tanks do the heavy lifting. But that's all. Like I said, clean and flush before breakfast at 06:00." Everyone made their beds while one gave the floors a quick swab with a brush and bucket. It's good that the land of Factoria has a well-disciplined army saving it. The L-class tanks marched into the mess hall at precisely 06:00. Lined up at the buffet, they were given a plate of hashbrowns, biscuits and gravy, and a choice of fruit. Oil was, of course, the preferred beverage of the tanks.
"So how was your first night?" Amy, an M2 asked Pansy and Annie.
"It was alright," Pansy said.
"I dreamt of home," Annie said.
"I'm not surprised," Trixy said. "Nearly everyone does their first week."
"Can we keep the talking to a minimum, please?" Renee asked, having just finished her food. "You new recruits should be looking up to Caitlyn, or Anastasia. They're the perfect L-class role-models." Anastasia, a T-36, smirked and Caitlyn, a Cruiser MKII, nodded in affirmation. Amy and Annie looked at her, eyes wide in awe.
"Yes Ma'am," they said, finishing their breakfast.
"Alright," Renee announced when breakfast was finished and the mess hall cleaned, ready for the next group, the medium tanks, or the M-class. "I want the new recruits to stay with a seasoned tank for the day. Amy, you're with Tanya. Crisa, you're with Caitlyn, Annie with Anastasia, Arina with Trixy, and Pansy, you're with me. Am I understood?"
"Yes Ma'am," the tanks saluted.
"Good. Now since we're not going to the front lines, go to the chore board to find something to do."
"I already have something," an M-class tank said, walking over.
"What is it, Martha?" Renee asked.
"Since Tanya's scuffle with Shelly last evening, left some scratches on our barrack wall, she can fix it." Amy saw Tanya cringe out of the corner of her eye.
"Well, you heard her Tanya. Go fix your screw-up. Amy, you too since you're assigned to her." Amy followed Tanya to the M-class barrack, seeing a bucket of water, a cleaning cloth and several dents and scratches on the wall. While Amy was swearing in her thoughts, she sighed aloud and picked up the cloth and began scrubbing the tread marks on the wall.
"How'd you get track marks on the wall?" Amy dared to ask.
"Shut up!" Tanya snapped, glaring at the spot she was working on while she scrubbed profusely. They continued working in silence until Tanya sighed when the wall was free of marks, but not dents. "I'm sorry you were dragged into this, M2."
"It's fine," Amy said with a small smile. "Really. Somebody had to anyway." Tanya gave Amy a smirk and continued working.
"You know, that kind of sensitivity could get you killed out there," she muttered.
"Hm?" Amy asked, having not entirely heard.
"Nothing." They didn't even know I was walking behind them. "Oh, good day, General," Tanya said, standing at attention. Amy gasped and stood up as well, saluting.
"How are my favourite L-class tanks?" I ask, petting their heads. I smile as they blush.
"Sir, we're cleaning up my mess," Tanya answered.
"And why'd you drag her into it?"
"Captain Renee's orders, Sir."
"I see. Well, I'll be having a wonderful conversation with her later. Anyway, M2..."
"Uh, the name's Amy, Sir," Amy said.
"Yes, Amy. You can take a break for some oil if you'd like."
"O-oh. Thank you sir." I smiled and walked away, keeping an eye out for Renee.3: Midday with the Medium-Class
Around lunch time, I was still searching for Renee, but I couldn't find her anywhere. I wonder if she's causing trouble for the M-class tanks. I know for a fact that she likes to do that. I walk over to the M-class barrack, with the big, green M on it. I walk inside for my ears to be blasted with DeadMau5 music.
"PRIVYET, GENERAL!" a tank shouts over the music. I look up and see Yana, the mouse-eared T-34/76 herself. She's playing music with her computer connected to the biggest speakers she could get on base. I sigh.
"YANA! SHUT THIS OFF!" I have to yell back and I see her face turn into a sad expression as the music suddenly stops.
"Aw, why you gotta be a party pooper, General?!" she whines.
"You can play it again, only after I leave, after you help me out."
"Fine," she drags out. "What is it, Sir?"
"I'm looking for Renee."
"The Captain of the L-class? I haven't seen her. Not in here anyway."
"Do you know anyone who has?"
"Sir," an M4 Sherman interjects.
"What is it, Sherman?"
"Actually Sir, it's Shelly. And I saw her about 20 minutes ago at the mess hall."
"Thanks." I nod to Yana as I shut the door behind me, the music starting at the last second. I know it seems strange to have a rave in the barracks, but I want my tanks to be comfortable, especially on base when they aren't training. War is tough. Trust me on that. Anyway, I need to head to the mess hall. By the time I get there and ask some of the H-class tanks, the heavies, Renee is apparently on the other side of the base at the factory, checking up on tanks being repaired.
"How are you all feeling?" Renee asked in the factory, where repairs were being done.
"I'm fine," Lin said, having her armor replaced and repainted.
"Lin, you have to be more careful. There aren't very many of you Type 64's."
"I know, but since we use parts from other mass-produced tanks, parts can be replaced in a heartbeat."
"The Chinese and their problems..." A Type 5 Chi-Ri muttered.
"Oh can it, Asami."
"Please don't talk to our captain like that," a couple of Panzer variations said simultaneously. It was Emilia, the Panzer IV Ausf H, and Elisa, a standard Panzer III.
"Well, I'm finished with my repairs," Asami said, standing up and leaving the repair bay. "M-Class units move out."
"Yes Ma'am," Elisa and Emilia saluted, following her. And that is when I made it in.
"Renee," I said.
"Yes, General?" she asked, turning to face me.
"I need to talk to you. Privately."
"With all due respect General, protocol states that I must remain here while my class tanks are being repaired."
"Not anymore. Your overall productivity and leadership has dropped based on a poll of your class tanks. I'm sorry, but I'm afraid I must demote you." She gasped in shock.
"B-But General please! You can-"
"Renee enough. I am promoting Lin to Captain of the L-class."
"Ha! Sucks for you," an A7V said.
"Alda!" A B1 scolded, slapping Alda on the back of her head, so hard she knocked her helmet off.
"Beth!" Alda cried out, holding the back of her head.
"Don't disparage those who are lower than you, especially since you know that you are lower than others as well." With her warning, Beth trundled off, having her own repairs finished just beforehand.
"Can't you tanks do something other than fighting each other?" I asked aloud, making sure everyone heard, including Beth. "Save the arguments for the Corrupted. Renee, back to your barrack. Lin, when your repairs are finished you head there too, to make sure everything is under control."
In the M-class barrack, Asami was going over some papers.
"Ohayo, Nee-sama," Setsuko, a Type 97 Chi-Ha said.
"Setsuko, I'm busy," Asami responded. "And it's 13:15."
"C'mon. Ever since you made me enlist in this war, we never get to play together any more."
"Maybe after the war is over, okay?" Asami looked at her with a smile.
"Hai!"4: Hello, Heavy-Class
After I had to relieve Renee of her duties, I decided to stop by the largest barrack on base. The one marked with a big, yellow H. The Heavy-class. I was already on my way to the large door when they opened to reveal Charlotte, a Churchill.
"Oh, Good afternoon, General," she said with her English accent with a perfect salute.
"At ease, soldier," I said with a smile. "I'm just dropping by to see how things are."
"Charlotte!" a Russian tank called from inside the barrack. "Is that the General?"
"Aye!" she turned to answer. "I think Katya needs you."
"It would seem so," I said. Charlotte smiled and stepped aside as I strode through the massive doors. The tanks were standing around in a circle as there was a tank laying on the floor. I walked over. "What is it?"
"A unit we rescued," Tabby, the Captain of the H-class said. She was a Tiger I.
"Good job, Tabby," I said, reaching up to scratch behind her cat ears. She smiled and purred happily. Katya removed the cover over the unit on the floor. You could tell she was corrupted due to her purple hues and black hair, but those bad colours were fading. "Impressive. She's multi-gun."
"Yes," Katya explained. "She was the only one from our battle who seemed to have the Corruption beaten out of her."
"Yeah, that's been going on a lot." After a couple minutes, the unit was free of all Corruption. Her face twitched and her eyes slowly opened.
"Where... where am I?" she asked softly.
"You're in the Heavy-class barrack on the Allied base," I explained. "You were rescued as you were able to reject the Corruption. How do you feel?"
"A little fine," she said. "But I could use some oil." Dawn, an M6A1 helped the new tank to a sitting position and gave her a barrel of oil, which she drank in a few seconds.
"She certainly drinks like an H-class tank," Hana said with a giggle.
"You sound Germanic," Charlotte noted and the new tank nodded, carefully standing up.
"Thank you all for saving me," she said. "My name is Betty, and I am a prototype Neubaufahrzeug."
"A prototype what?" we all thought with estranged faces.
"It'll be an honor to help fight by your side in the hopes of saving my fallen sisters."
"And so we shall," Tabby said, shaking Betty's hand. "Get some rest and tomorrow we'll start your Allied Training."
"Thanks for stopping by, General," Katya said, pulling me aside while the other tanks introduced themselves to Betty.
"Sure. I'm checking up on everyone before we head out for our next big battle." Then she frowned slightly.
"Go ahead if you must, but once our fellow tanks and neko soldiers fall... they fall." This is clearly why Katya hasn't made any friends, to save herself from the emotional pain when a fellow tank dies. But even so, that barely ever happens. 99.9% of our tanks are completely repairable when they come back from the field. Except under... certain circumstances. Even so, the way Katya looks at me, confirms that she may have a friend in me. "Spasibo, General." I smile and walk toward the door.
"Dosvedonya, Katya," I say before I walk out of the doors. I think to myself for a little while as I walk toward my next destination, the Artillery-class. Those girls aren't to strong when it comes to physical strength, but they are excellent at long-range strikes. Of course they need to be pretty high-level to be any good, but I digress.
"Good afternoon, General," A T-35 says as I walk by.
"Aline," I say. "Good afternoon."
"I was just heading back to the barrack."
"You may want to hurry then. You have a new comrade you need to meet."
"Oh. Did she finally wake up?"
"Aye, she did. Get going."
"Yes sir. Have a good day." She nods and salutes before continuing on her way to the H-class barrack.5: Afternoon, Artillery-Class
I make my way over to the Artillery-class barrack, the one with a large, purple A above the door. It's the same size barrack as the L and M-class barracks, but it's mainly empty as there aren't as many artillery tanks and vehicles on base at the moment. We need to rescue more. We only have 7 A-class girls right now and when I walk in they are playing a card game at the table.
"Oh, good afternoon, General," one of them says.
"Good afternoon Elysia," I say. Elysia's an SU-5, and current captain of the A-class. "What's going on?"
"We're just playing some card games," Ellinah said with a smile. She's an M7 Priest. The others are Mila, the M8 Scott, Selma, the Sexton I, Aubri the Wespe, Silke, the Sturmpanzer I Bison, and finally, the most recent addition fresh from the factory, was Darya, the SU-14-1.
"We're playing Go-fish," Mila said with a smile, having already won the current game.
"And she's been winning all day," Aubri said with a yawn. "I'm getting bored."
"How's Mila been winning all day?" I asked, leaning on a stack of crates, as other tanks used this barrack as a storage area.
"We've been letting her," Darya said.
"Way to ruin the fun for her," Ellinah said.
"Yay!" Mila giggled. I know it seems childish, but Mila is the youngest unit in the A-class and possibly on base.
"I guess I owe Mila my chips at dinner."
"Speaking of dinner, do you know what we're having, General Soto?" Elysia asked.
"The Destroyer-class is having a barbeque," I answered. I heard a few groans.
"Great," Selma muttered. "They'll blow up all the meat and serve us shells and rounds."
"It'll be fine. I was stopping my on my way to their barrack to make sure they do this properly."
"Really?" Mila asked, coming over to me.
"That's right," I said, picking her up and sitting her on my shoulder since she was so small. "I'll have them make you your favourite cheeseburgers."
"But I want hot dogs."
"Then I'll personally see to it. Mila, I can promise that you will have your hot dogs."
"Mila, you're 18, why do you sound like I child?" Silke asked.
"I am a child. On the inside and outside."
"Wow," she forced a chuckle. "Well, I'm getting some more oil. You gals want any?"
"Sure," Elysia said. Selma nodding in agreement. Aubri was already sound asleep, her head down on the table.
"Three quarts then."
"Actually, I'll take two," Selma said.
"Alright," Silke said. "Four quarts it is." She stood up and walked out of the door. I smiled and put Mila back down.
"Well, I must be on my way. I'll see you ladies tonight at the big barbeque."
"Good day, General," Elysia said, saluting with the other girls following suit. I walk out of the dusty barrack and then succumb to a fit of intense coughing.
"Jesus Christ," I mutter after my fit is finished and I've coughed up my lungs, stomach, and intestines after a whole minute and a half. "That place needs to be cleaned out." I get up and see the purple A above the door. The lights behind it flicker and short out. "That'll need to be fixed as well." I sigh and make sure I can still walk with whatever strength I have left.
"General?" there's a voice, but I can't really see who it is due to my blurry vision. "General! General Soto!"
"What?" I ask, forcing my vision to focus, almost falling over.
"General are you alright? You don't look okay."
"I-I'm fine." I sit down on an munitions box and take a few deep breaths. "Sorry. I was in the A-class barrack."
"Just checking things out. That barrack need to be cleaned and their entrance sign needs maintenance."
"Okay. I'll send some units out on that later tonight." I let out another sigh and look up as I my vision is finally clear. It's Marian, an M3 GMC. A tank destroyer from the D-class. Of course, she might as well be called the double-D class, knowing the size of her ammo rack, and I right?6: Dinnertime, Destroyer-Class
Later that evening, as the dinner bell rang at 19:00, all the tanks on base meandered toward the mess hall for tonight's BBQ sponsored by the D-class. Archie, the Archer 17pdr, and Maria the Semovente da 75/18 was in charge of grilling the food. In the kitchen however, may God have mercy on our souls, was Svetlana, the SU-152. She was tenderizing the meat by using controlled explosions, while placing them onto Archie's grill with a massive sickle, all with an insane expression on her face.
"W-why is Svetlana making that face?" Ilona, a Hetzer, and possibly the youngest D-class tank so far, asked.
"It's okay, Sweetie," Merla said, trying to comfort her much younger colleague. Merla was a Marder I.
"Da, everything is fine!" Svetlana declared as she moved slabs of ribs onto the grill.
"Can I get a raw steak?" A Sherman Crocodile asked.
"Why?" Maria asked.
"It's Tinda," Archie said, flipping some burgers. "She's equipped with flamethrowers."
"Sounds dangerous, but have fun," Maria replied as she reluctantly gave Tinda a big, raw steak.
"Ooh, this is gonna be good!" she said, skipping off with her plate and sitting down with the rest of the Sherman variations.
"Wow, look at Tinda..." Shelly muttered.
"What's got you so worked up?" Bella asked. She was a Sherman Firefly.
"Yeah?" Tinda asked.
"Just shut it, Croc," Felicia, a Sherman Easy 8 said. Tinda growled with anger.
"You do not call me Croc dammit!"
"Better watch it, or we'll send you to the reject table," Shelly said.
"That's not a thing!"
"Yes it is," one tank called from the so-called "reject table". It was Cana, an AMX-40. She lay her head down next to her dinner, which she didn't eat.
"Shut up, Duck-face," the four Shermans said.
"Aw..." Cana began to cry, knowing they were right. Everyone compared her to a duck, even the Lieutenants.
"Don't cry, Cana," Kiwi, the Bob Semple said. Yes, you heard me right. Bob Semple. She was New Zealand's idea of a tank. When I say tank, I should really say a tractor covered up with sheet metal. "I'm here with you at the Loser table. That and we have Private Neko with us."
"Yes Ma'am!" the small anthropomorphic cat said with a salute.
"First reject, now loser?" Cana sunk even lower in her seat with a sigh.
"Chin up, my duckling," Lidiya, a T-70 said to Cana, patting her on the back of the head and walking by. "We'll see some action soon."
"Say's the weirdo wearing a freaking fur coat over her armor," Sabine, a StuG III Ausf G, wow that's a mouthful, said.
"I'll have you know it's comfy," Lidiya said, crossing her arms. "Hmph."
"Sabine, be nice," Evelynn said. She was Sabine's older sister and was a StuG IV.
"Whatever," Sabine said as she bit into her hamburger. Meanwhile at another table, Asami had sat down with some other M-class tanks and her older sister Kyoko to discuss some battle plans and she made Setsuko sit at the kiddie table. Mila, Ilona, Pansy, Annie, Flora, and Aubri were also sitting at the kiddie table. Setsuko ate with an expression of childishness.
"Is your sis being a meanie?" Mila asked her.
"Hai," Setsuko said.
"She's so scary," Flora said.
"It's gotta suck being the youngest," Pansy said. Aubri agreed with a yawn.
"Ja," Annie also agreed. You're probably wondering by now where I am in all of this wonderful fun. Well, let me tell you, since I was practically the only guy on base, and I wasn't a tank or any form of artillery like my lieutenants, I was at the reject table, with Kiwi, Cana, and Private Neko. Notice how I didn't call her a duck-face? That's because I'm nice. Get over it. While I was at the reject table, I was talking to Kiwi about how she could increase her stats by training in a way that was suited for her and I was enjoying a really nice steak. I finished it after awhile and it was so good, I had to see if there was another one.
"Seconds, General?" the captain of the D-class asked.
"Yes, Odette," I replied. "It was quite delicious." Odette was a Jagdtiger.7: Vox Populi
The next day, all of the tanks prepared themselves as my select squad of 15 units were ready to go out fighting the Corrupted. The way I had my team of tank laid out in formation was pretty genius if I do say so myself. I sent out destroyers first, then had Olivia speed though the gap and attack them directly. Of course if she held out long enough, the destroyers would catch up and provide back up. Huh... to think I just blatantly announced to the world my super-secret strategy. Oh well. I had 7 destroyers, 5 heavies, 2 mediums, Olivia and Tinda, and the only L-class was Lin as she had some pretty strong rounds she could fire pretty quickly. As Odette led, she went over some final strategies with Asami, as she was one of the smartest tanks on base.
"-and that's our last tactic idea. Got it?" Asami asked as everyone else was clearing the gate area as the formation fired up their engines.
"Ja!" Odette roared over the rumble. "We'll be back only after the last woman falls!"
"We'll be sending out damage control behind you! Good Luck!" She stepped out of the way and the tanks roared out of the base and through the gate, which was shut with loud clinks behind them.
"Off again, huh?" Veronika, a KV-2 asked.
"Yep," Asami answered.
"Did the General really send out Emiko?" Emiko was a Type 95 H-class tank.
"This is her first time since she joined us."
"It is, but as an M-class, I'll leave any concerns to you." Asami turned and walked toward her barrack, waving a hand up as a good-bye to Veronika.
"What in the name of Stalin is wrong with her? Mudak." With her final word said, Veronika continued with her daily chores, which was move the larger crates out of the A-class barrack, so it was no longer a storage warehouse. While the H-class was taking out the trash, the D-class was hosing down the floors and cleaning up, granted, it was only Archie, Marian, and Merla doing it, as the rest of the destroyers were out fighting. The rest of the A-class tanks were working on rebuilding their living area in the A-class barrack.
"So how should the couches be arranged?" Jill, the newest A-class tank, an M40, asked.
"Around the TV," Elysia said, gesturing with her arms. Jill just stared at Elysia with a dirty expression.
"I don't know what this means," she groaned, making the exact same gestures as well.
"She means like this," Silke said, making different gestures.
"No, it's this!" Mila said, making even different motions.
"That's way off," Darya said. "Besides, it's like this." Darya made her own gestures and dabbed at the end. Elysia groaned while Ellinah marked the spots for the couches with some black and yellow caution tape.
"How's that?" She asked Elysia.
"Perfect," Elysia responded.
"Kiss ass," the other tanks muttered. Veronika walked over and moved the couches over to where Ellinah had marked them.
"Just like that?" she asked Elysia.
"Perfect," she responded, sitting down. "Thanks Veronika."
"Da. Anytime." Veronika and Betty continued to move the extra crates around while the A-class girls took a quick break to hook the television back up and check the local listings. Of course there wasn't much on as it wasn't prime time. The rest of the renovations came to a close later that evening. Veronika and Betty were chatting outside the H-class barrack when Elysia walked over to them, carrying a couple jerrycans of oil.
"Off for a refill?" Betty asked with a smile.
"Payment actually," Elysia answered, handing the girls the oil. "Thanks for helping us out with the renovations."
"Da, it was no problem," Veronika said.
"Ja," Betty agreed.8: On Base
While the brigade of 15 were off fighting, the other tanks were either keeping the base neat and flush, or drilling. The L-class were running maneuver drills while the D-class was at target practice. Some H-class tanks were strength testing their armor. Katya was holding her shield out while Dawn was firing rounds at it.
"How's it holding up?" Dawn asked her.
"It is going well," Katya said with a smirk. "Nekos! I'll take a few more of these." She tossed it to some neko soldiers who took it back to the factory to make some more shields of her. During those training sessions, Emilia and Elisa were marching in formation.
"Auf der Heide blüht ein kleines Blümelein," they were singing as they marched. "Und das heißt... Erika!"
"What's that they're spouting on about?" Alexa asked as she noticed.
"They're singing about me," Erika said with a laugh.
"Oh please, I know that's bullshit."
"Ladies!" Evonna, the Jagdpanzer, said loudly, to get their attention. "Focus on the drilling, not the M-class!" With her command, the tanks went back to drilling. "And if you must know, it's one of our proud German marches. Look it up later if you want."
"Yes Ma'am," Alexa sarcastically huffed as she targeted the targets and fired her shots with perfect accuracy as she smirked to herself. Meanwhile on the other side of the base, the A-class were practicing their long-range shots.
"I still don't understand why he has us do these drills," Ivonne, a new A-class member, a GW Tiger, muttered. "We can shoot for kilometers..."
"Quit whining, Ivonne," Elysia said. "I've been talking with the General, and we're working out a plan for a shooting area somewhere off-base."
"That sounds amazing."
"It will be." While I was going through some more battle tactics with Kyoko and Asami, Caitlyn stopped by my office.
"Caitlyn, what is it?" I asked her with a mild huff of annoyance.
"Sir," she said after a flawless salute. "Renee is refusing to leave her barrack."
"Let me guess, she's still bitching about the fact I demoted her?" I try not to swear, but news about Renee again is getting on my nerves.
"Um, I would assume so." I let out a sigh.
"Goddammit." I lean back in my chair and rub the bridge of my nose. "Then have Lin-"
"Sir, Lin's out fighting."
"Then who's the next one in charge?"
"That would be Lidiya."
"Then have her do something. We're busy at the moment." And if I'm honest, I wish that had a different definition of busy, as I would totally love to see the Chi sisters naked. Don't judge me on that. Caitlyn salutes perfectly then marches off with a nod.
"What's the General's verdict?" Lidiya asked her.
"Well, since Lin's away fighting and you're second Captain of the L-class, it's your job."
"I figured it was," she sighed and walked inside and over to Renee's bunk. "Renee. Get up."
"No," she groaned under her fortified tent made out of bedsheets. It wreaked of cheap wine in the area. Lidiya huffed angrily and threw back her hood, meaning she was serious.
"Renee," she growled. Renee raised a middle finger through the walls of her tent causing Lidiya's eyes to twitch as she snapped. "Chert voz'mi! You French monkey! I said get up!" Lidiya pulled down the sheets and a drunk Renee aimed her gun at her with half a smirk
"Call me that again," she slurred. "I dare you."
"And I dare you to shoot," Lidiya said with an expression of utter rage. "You're already being court-martialed for not doing your duties." Renee's smile disappeared.
"Va te faire foutre," Renee muttered. Lidiya's eye twitched as she snapped again and punched Renee in the face, knocking her onto the hardwood floor.
"Ty, chertovski suka! Ya dolzhen ubit' tebya!" Caitlyn gasped and grabbed Lidiya and tried to hold her back, as Tanya and Trixy ran in to help.
"Lidiya no!" Trixy begged.
"You'll get your own ass court-martialed at this rate!" Tanya said.
"What the hell is going on in here?!" Cerys, the FV214 Conquerer, demanded, having just returned from the frontlines. She looked around the small bunkroom to see two tanks fighting and three tanks holding them back.
"They're fighting!" Caitlyn said and Trixy said.
"Who's being court-martialed?"
"It's Renee!" Lydia screamed.
"Calm the hell down." Cerys grabbed Renee and with some quick movements had some rope tied around her. "I'll take her to the General. The rest of you need to get this place cleaned up."
"Yes Ma'am," the L-class girls saluted, as H-class was superior when there was no senior officer present.9: The Replacement
Later that afternoon, when the tanks had arrived back from the battlefield and I had told them to rest for a couple days before heading back out after some roster changes, I was told that I would have to host an execution. At least that what it seemed like, since the tanks are girls, but try to think about it as more of a tank's decommissioning. Renee had gone into a drunken, downward spiral since her demotion and was now court-martialed due to on-base desertion. And guess who had to decommission her? As the sun was setting and all the tanks and soldiers were gathered at the center of the base, a lone Renee was kneeling and bound as I aimed my gun right above the knot in her blindfold. I squeezed the trigger the moment the clock struck six.
At the very same moment in the factory, life was breathed into a new Renault FT that had been built. She sat up with a gasp and a cough as the factory workers handed her some oil. Curious as to what was going on, she got up and out of the factory and into the crowd to find a dead body of someone who looked just like her. She gasped and looked at the body then me, as her mind began to make the proper connections, then she nodded in understanding and saluted. I gave her a small smile and saluted back. The tank then left to begin their evening duties and training as Caitlyn took care of the new Renee and the decommissioned one was dragged into the factory to be recycled. I watched the rest of the sunset, seeing a figure moving toward the gate. Odette and Olivia noticed too and readied themselves at my sides.
"'Oo is it?" Olivia asked in her cockney accent.
"I don't know," I said. "Keep your guard up."
"General, you should get behind us," Odette said.
"Wait." I looked through my binoculars and saw that this woman who not only had the armor of a samurai, only better looking than Asami's, but also the turrets of an O-I super-heavy tank.
"An O-I?" Natalia asked, seeing her too.
"It would appear so."
"She doesn't seem to be corrupted."
"Let her in."
"But, S-Sir," Olivia stammered.
"I said let her in." By now, the O-I had reached the gate and was looking at me quizzically. She was let in, then she removed her helmet and kneeled in front of me.
"Kon'nichiwa ippan," she said in her solid Japanese voice.
"Kon'nichiwa," I responded. "English?"
"Asami!" I called out and she came marching right over.
"Hai?" she asked, and the O-I looked up at her with a silent reaction of surprise. "Translations?"
"Watashi wa ippan no tame ni hanasu," she said. The O-I stood and nodded.
"Who are you?" I asked her and Asami translated.
"Watashi wa Mayumi, O-I chō omo tankudesu," she responded.
"Her name's Mayumi and she is indeed the O-I superheavy tank," Asami told me.
"Mayumi. Interesting. Why are you here?" I asked her and Asami translated.
"Watashi wa anata ga watashi no shinrai o eta to kanjimasu," Mayumi responded. "Watashi wa teki o mita. Anata wa watashi no tasuke ga hitsuyōdesu!" Her last statement sounded a bit desperate.
"She trusts you," Asami tells me. "She has seen the enemy and insists you need her help."
"If that's the case then I'll leave her in the hands of you and your sisters."
"Hai," Asami nodded, turning toward Mayumi. "Anata wa watashitachi to issho ni imasu."
"Hai," Mayumi nodded and Asami showed her around as they conversed in Japanese. Setsuko joined them and when it came time to bunk down for the night, Kyoko offered a bottle of sake that Sakura had ordered in. They had some nice conversations and Asami told Mayumi that she'd begin her training with the H-class after Kyoko had given her some English lessons which she had agreed to.10: Firing the First Round
The following day, around mid-morning, Setsuko walked into Asami's office in the M-class barrack.
"Come on, Nee-sama!" Setsuko said to Asami. "Let's go play for a bit!"
"Setsuko..." Asami stated with a huff of mild annoyance.
"Please?!" she begged. Asami groaned, sighed, and somewhat forced a smile.
"Alright, for a few minutes."
"Yay!" Setsuko giggled, scurrying off to the gate which led outside the base. The neko guard let them out and Setsuko and her sister went off base.
"Just for a bit, okay, and don't go to far!"
"Come on, let's play some tag!"
"Yay!" Setsuko ran off, her arms out like the wings of an airplane. Asami jogged after her, then noticed something off toward the trees. A glint of sunlight, reflecting off something metallic. By the time she saw it was the barrel of a corrupted destroyer, it was far too late.
"Huh?" Setsuko turned to look back and saw her sister's fearful expression only to hear the sound of gun fire and her armor exploding as she was brought down in a pile of metal and blood, having the round go right through her chest. Asami watched with her eyes as wide as humanly possible as her younger sister fell into a bloody heap, only to be shot several more times before finally hitting the ground, dead and completely destroyed. Asami fell, shielded from more incoming fire, and could barely breathe, having watched the entire scene. She couldn't breath right, and she vomited from complete shock and disgust, her entire face pale.
"N... No," she coughed. "SETSUKO!"
The gate of the base was flung open as an army of tanks flooded the hillside, Sakura and Kyoko went into the ditch to aid the weeping Asami.
"We need to get her out of here!" Sakura yelled over the firefight as the corrupted destroyers in the trees were flushed out by the A-class and then brought down by some D-class and M-class units.
"Report!" Natalia demanded.
"All Corrupted have been destroyed," Kristina said, hugging her cannon closely with a smirk. Someone had placed a blanket over the body of Setsuko, which had absorbed quite a bit of the blood and oil, changing to a dark red hue. While Asami was led back inside the base, Mandy was brought out to inspect the damage.
"Well shit," she muttered, removing the blanket.
"'Ow is it?" Olivia asked, looking away from the carnage. "Fixable?"
"I'll try my best... but no guarantees."
"From 'ow close they were... even if Asami 'ad spotted 'em three seconds sooner... she would have taken the 'it."
"I know. Asami knows the risks of this war, but why did it have to be Setsuko?" Mandy sighed and put all of Setsuko's parts in the blanket and tossed it over her shoulder with a squishing and metallic clanking sound.
"Hey!" Shelly interjected. "Isn't that a little disrespectful?!"
"You're tanks, Sweetheart. You're machines. Somewhat."
"Well yeah, but so're you," Olivia said. Mandy took the bag of Setsuko parts back to the factory and laid them all out on the floor surrounded by construction curtains, as neko workers dug out Setsuko's blueprints from the large filing cabinet. "You think you can handle this?" she asked the head worker.
"Not without your help, Ma'am. It'll take a while, and we're going to need to recycle some corrupted units for parts."
"But it is possible?"
"Then let's get to it." Meanwhile, Sakura and Mayumi were trying to comfort the still petrified Asami while Kyoko excused herself to weep privately. I had found her behind the munitions sheds.
"General, please leave me be," she said softly.
"Kyoko, please don't cry," I told her, giving her a hug. She gasped in surprise, but she buried her face into my chest anyway. "Mandy's working non-stop in the factory to try to rebuild her."
"It's all my fault."
"No it's not."
"Yes it is! I should have done a better job watching my younger sisters."
"I'm not... I'm not worthy to call myself an older sister."
"Kyoko, don't talk like this please?" I had to grab her arm when she pulled out a knife to stop her from committing seppuku or something.
"Let go of me!" she cried, her rage starting to consume her.
"Kyoko!" I said, quite literally slapping some sense into her. She gasped and dropped her knife, and looked up at me, still confused. "You're far better than this! Please give Mandy some time and go rest. You're relieved of your daily duties." With that I left, taking her knife with me. The current platoon had begun their mandatory strategy briefing and I walked in. "At ease," I said after they stood and saluted. "Whatever your plans are for the day after tomorrow, I just have one thing to add."
"And that is?" Odette inquired.
"I need you to gather as many Type 97 Chi-ha parts you can."
"Is this for Setsuko-chan?" Lin asked.
"Yes. Just add that into your plan, okay?"
"Yes Sir," Odette saluted, being in charge of Platoon 1. I smiled and left them to their briefing.11: Platoon 2
While there was still time left in the day, I decided to check on Platoon 2's building. I'm hoping to get 5 platoons in total as more tanks roll out from the factory, but for now, we only have enough resources for 2. The captain of the second platoon was a rather new unit, it was Irina, a Soviet KV-8, who was equipped with flamethrowers. Sadly, it took her a few moment to realize I was standing behind her couch.
"O-Oh. Privyet, General!" she saluted.
"Irina," I said, keeping my irritated voice level. "It took you 4.6 seconds to realize I was here."
"I-I'm sorry Sir!" she bowed and I sighed.
"Irina, if you want to hold your position as leader of this second platoon, then you'll need to really improve yourself."
"Good. I suggest you keep up with your drills."
"NYAH!" Leo, the Leopard VK 1602 shouted out as she pounced for me. However, I saw her coming up from behind the couch so as she was in the air I grabbed her then tossed her over onto the ground with a smirk, She let out a yelping groan of pain. "Th-That hurt General!"
"Leo, you should know this by now, you're not as stealthy as you think. You're almost there. Just don't yell out when you're attacking."
"Oh... okay." Suddenly, I heard someone walking toward the main room.
"Hey Nika I-" It was Cana, and she had just stepped out of the showers and had not yet wrapped the towel around her. When we met eyes we both gasped and blushed and I looked away as Cana wrapped the towel around her with a scream and ran back down the hall.
"Watch the language," I said as I stood up to apologize to Cana. I knocked on the shower room door.
"Go away General!" Cana yelled.
"Cana, I'm sorry. I didn't see anything." It went quiet for a bit.
"Yes. Really, I saw nothing, but I'm sorry anyway. I'll uh, I'll be going now." I myself was beginning to feel uncomfortable with this whole thing so I leave the doorway only to slip on something that quacks when I step on it. Of course the only thing I know now is that I am in some bad pain as my back hits the hard floor. I hear some running footsteps.
"General, are you okay?" It's Nika, the T34/85. She has a worried expression as she and Stella, the M5 Stuart, help me to my feet.
"Augh, my back," I say with a groan.
"He slipped on Cana's rubber duck." They sit me down on one of the couches. Catherine, the Centurion Mk 1 fetched an ice pack from the ice box and gave it to Nika as she held it to my back, and it's a tank-sized ice pack, so it's about the size of a 12-inch wheel. At least my entire back gets some pain relief. "We should take him to the medics to look at him."
"I'll do it, since I'm the fastest here," Stella said. The smaller tank somehow carried me to the infirmary outside my office where Dawn was filing through papers.
"What happened?" she asked when Stella brought me in.
"He slipped on a rubber duck and hit his back." Dawn was so lucky I couldn't hear her muffled snickering.
"Well, lay him down and I'll get Cerys." Dawn ran out and grabbed Cerys and brought her back.
"So he landed on his back?" Cerys asked.
"Yeah," Stella nodded.
"But his spine isn't broken?"
"No, I can still move," I said, raising my arm and still fully aware of what was going on.
"Sir just rest. You should take these strong pain killers."
"Are they addictive?"
"No sir, just strong. They'll knock you right out." And with that I took one right away. "Sir-!" But I was already sound asleep. Stella sighed.
"Well my job is done," she said with a sigh of relief followed with a smile. "Take care of him."
"Yep," Dawn nodded. Stella nodded and went back to the P2 building before everyone checked in for the night at their class barracks.12: Auto Blindate d'Italia
While I was busy resting up from my accident, there were three, and only three particular tanks who were not caring about their class, but their nationality. They we're marching in formation to their barracks. The only Italian tanks on base. Maria led while Flora and Pepper, A Fiat M13/40, marched behind her.
"Vicino a un albero vicino al fiume, c'è un buco nel terreno," they sang in their proud Italian. Olivia watched as they marched to their barracks and shook her head in utter discomfort.
"Bloody 'ell they're so stupid," she muttered. They sang while Pepper whistled the tune as they had an Italian neko soldier marching with his drum. "God that song is annoyin'." She then trundled off for a pint of hard oil somewhere.
"Olivia!" Maria called out, causing Olivia to gasp and moan with despair, as she marched over to her with Flora and Pepper following, whistling the tune.
"What the bloody 'ell you want?"
"Off for a pint are you?"
"Aye. And I don't want ya' followin' whistlin' that annoyin' tune of yours."
"Ever tried Campari?"
"No. Why the bloody 'ell would I want that?"
"Beats some hard oil, especially on a mild night like this."
"Nah," Olivia scowled and left at her fast pace. Maria was sad, but she kept her smile.
"Li mortacci tua," she teased behind Olivia's back. Once Olivia was long gone, the Italian trio marched to their barracks and clocked out for the night.
The next morning, I had awoken to see Dawn's smiling yet somehow menacing face.
"Good morning, General," she said.
"Ever considered a glass eye?" She backed off and gasped as she was accused of committing a murder.
"Please abide to my personal space." I sat up and was thankful to not be feeling anymore pain. I left the room only to see several neko civilians rushed by in stretchers, as they were either victims off the corruption, or just caught in the cross fire. It was a grim reminder that I was still at war. I continued on to the mess hall to find the H-class already knocking down their breakfast.
"Ohayōgozaimas," Mayumi said with a salute.
"English, Mayumi," Cerys reminded her and Mayumi nodded.
"Good morning, General," she said in her solid accent. I smiled and nodded and she smiled back.
"You'll be going out again, Cerys," I said.
"Yes sir," Cerys saluted. I nodded once more and went up to my office in the center of the base to make the official announcement of the tannoy system. "Alright. It's time to deploy again," as my voice flowed through the speakers, all the tanks stood at attention, giving their usual reactions when their names were read. "Lieutenant Evie will be directing platoon leader Odette and the following: Evelynn, Ilona, Lin, Olivia, Tabby, Claudia, Ivonne, Felicia, Cerys, Rena, Chie, Angela, Verena, and Tessa. Be ready to deploy at 10:00." I was writing down some notes when my office door was flung open, coming off one of it's hinges. Maria marching in with Flora and Pepper whistling a familiar tune.
"General why don't you ever deploy me anymore?!" Maria demanded.
"First of all, Flora, Pepper. Attention!" The two of them stopped and saluted. "Secondly, Maria... you're strength lacks in comparison to Evelynn and Chie."
"Ah! Those axis cessos!"
"Yes sir!" She saluted as well.
"I'm going to ask you to stop this unruly behaviour before I have you court-martialed."
"Now go back outside and find something to do."
"Yes sir," the three of them said, leaving my office. I looked out the door and happened to catch Mandy walking by.
"Yes sir?" she asked, coming back and looking in, seeing the fact my door was knocked off of one of its hinges. "Oh, would you like me to fix that for you?"
"If you could try, thanks."
"Sure thing." She moved the door back into its hinge. "Hm... the bolt broke." She pulled one of the bottom bolts out. "You just need another one of these. I'll send someone to town for another one."
"Thanks." I smiled and headed outside to see the platoon off. Back in the factory, Mandy was glancing around.
"Hey Viktor," she called the Neko soldier over.
"Da, Mandy?" he asked his his small, yet thick Russian accent.
"If Natalia hasn't deployed you anywhere could you run back to Maunis for another one of these bolts?" Mandy gave him the bolt from my door.
"Only if I can ride Veronika," he said taking it with his cat-like smirk.
"That's up to Natalia, not me. Just please get me another one."
"Da, Ma'am."13: On the Frontlines
Back by the base's main gate, the platoon was ready to deploy out. It was time we finally took over Devonis. We were stationed just inside the city, but at its heart there was a corrupt Gustav waiting for us. She was the biggest gun ever built.
"Remember to have someone flank her but make sure you take out those corruption crystals," Asami said to Odette.
"That's the plan," Odette said. "Alright we're heading out!" Everyone fired up their engines and rolled out the gate and deep into the city center. Evelynn spotted a corrupted M5 Stuart first.
"M5!" She shouted, already firing her gun.
"I'll cover you!" Verena yelled only to get slammed down by the sniper fire of two corrupt Jagdpanthers. She tried to get away but she had been shot in the knees and one of her legs was on the verge of falling off. "Augh! God this hurts!" She managed to crawl to a safe spot before passing out and the lower half of her legs had fallen off.
"I'll help!" Ilona said, speeding in but she too, met her end by the Jagdpanthers, taking a shot to the arm and opposite leg, seeing a corrupt Maus appear just before blacking out. Olivia growled and charged ahead but was stopped by a monstrous Scarab, a being created by the corruption crystals made for destroying tanks. Claudia ran forward as fast as she could to absorb some of the damage to allow the others through.
"Remind the General to thicken my armor!" She shouted as she fell to her knees having most of her armor shot away and she was nearly nude, bleeding and leaking oil. Odette ran into the fray only to meet another corrupt Maus.
"There's two?!" She fired her high-power shells but nothing would work on the heavily-armored Maus. "Oh, fick mich." The Maus shoved her sword through Odette's stomach and picked her up. Odette gasped and coughed blood, and clutching at the sword, as the Maus brought her to it's face and Odette could feel the evil aura.
"Sterben," the Maus said in a deep, corrupted voice before tossing Odette across the battlefield. She went through the broken window of some storefront and landed on some shelves with a cough, blood pouring from her wound and seeping from her mouth.
"Ver... verdammt," Odette coughed. Ivonne gasped and managed to take out a few corrupted units, but some corrupted IS-3's sped through and shot her in the chest, taking her out and sending her flying back from the impact. Tabby was taking so many hits, but she too eventually fell victim to the scarab and the bolters, which were machines build by the corrupted. Tabby lay crying and bleeding as she held onto her dead sister's hand.
"I... I'm sorry Rena," she cried softly, her body weak and torn, her hair burning away slowly from the tracer fire. "We weren't ready for this yet." Felicia and Angela were working together but the Maus and Jagdpanthers took them out as well. Lin's body was nearly shot to pieces, being the only L-class tank in the platoon. Chie tried her best was was far too inexperienced for a battle like this one and she lost an arm to the corrupted Churchills.
"Ch-chhikushō," she muttered before passing out.
"Tessa, we can't get through the scarabs and the bolters," Cerys said, breathing heavily, haven been stabbed in the shoulder by the Maus already.
"Tessa! Cerys! Retreat!" Evie called from her position.
"Grab everyone you can, we're getting out," Tessa said. Cerys grabbed the lighter units while, with a fierce battle cry, Tessa somehow managed to get everyone else who had fallen and walked them back to base. Mandy was brought out for repairs as were the other neko mechanics. Ivonne was the first one with repairs done as she was the only A-class in the platoon, but I let her rest before debriefing her on what happened. But before that I was debriefing Evie as she made it out with only a few bullet wounds.
"So-" I began but Evie smacked me.
"General you complete imbecile!" She yelled, tears in her eyes. "Why would you send them out there into that shit?!"
"You knew damn well they weren't ready! Claudia and Olivia almost died out there!" I sighed as she continued her tirade. "They need more training." I know for a fact that she's right. Rachel checked on Angela and Felicia. Evie went to comfort Claudia and Olivia. Natalia took care of the rest, leaving me in my office with a bottle of rum.14: You Are Already Dead
The next day, as the first platoon were recovering from yesterday's slaughter, I sent Mayumi out scouting with a few neko soldiers, with Private Neko leading, sitting on her shoulder.
"Alright Mayumi we're out scouting so you never know what you might run into, okay?"
"Okay," she nodded, only understanding most of his statement.
"There's some coins here," a soldier said, stopping to pick up the few golden currency that was strewn about on the road.
"Mayumi when we scout, we always take with us any and all coins, scrap metal, oil, and any items that may be important to our cause," Private Neko said.
"Okay," Mayumi nodded again. She trundled along the path, stopping for every coin and piece of metal they could find. Neko civilians from liberated villages they happened to meet gave them some oil for the trip. They then eventually made it to a village between Maunis and Laperm.
"Who goes there?" the village elder demanded with a meager spear.
"We mean you no harm," Private Neko said, hopping off Mayumi's shoulder. "We're with the Factorian military."
"Are you the ones who saved our village several weeks ago from that evil being?" He was referring to a corrupted Void leader who was terrorizing the village and harming the children.
"Yes sir," Neko saluted.
"Ah then welcome, welcome!" The elder laughed, setting his spear down. "You are welcome to rest here for as long as you need." Mayumi sat and drank some given oil while some of the kittens we're playing around her and laughing. She watched them with curious eyes, mainly unsure with what they were saying. A couple of the kids ran off into the nearby forest to collect some berries.
"Hurry back," their mother had told them. One of them came back screaming in terror after a few minutes.
"What happened?" the elder asked,
"Something scary's headed this way!" the kid yelled. "It took my sister!" Mayumi looked at Neko and he nodded. She put her helmet back on and they went to investigate. A corrupted O-I came walking out of the forest, Mayumi gasped in shock, seeing the mirror image of her, only much more sinister.
"K-Ki-sama?!" Mayumi asked it.
"Hai," it answered in a corrupted voice, as it laughed evilly, holding up a scared neko child.
"Let me go!" the little kitten cried.
"Īe," the corrupt Mayumi teased it as she tossed her onto the ground and kicked her into a nearby tree. he elder gasped in horror. The neko soldiers and Private Neko opened fire on the corrupt unit and the village began to take shelter. Their tiny rifles did nothing against the super heavy tank until Mayumi readied her weapons. She pulled out her specially made naginata and took a deep breath, closing her eyes. "Kowai no ka?" the corrupt teased with a smirk.
"Īe," Mayumi replied, opening her eyes and charging forward quickly, swinging her naginata at the corrupt and stopping right behind her enemy. The corrupted turned to face her and laughed.
"Anata wa watashi o minogashita!"
"Omae wa mou shindeiru," Mayumi said calmly.
"Nani?!" The corrupted O-I then stopped and fell in half, black blood and oil everywhere. Her eyes were wide with shock and they glazed over as she died the moment her upper half hit the ground with a loud rumble. Private Neko stared at the corrupted corpse.
"Damn, remind me to never piss you off." He checked on the neko child and found her alive. The poor child was knocked unconscious, but alive. He picked her up carefully and brought her back to the village. "It's alright everyone!" The villagers came back out, and the worried mother took care of her daughter. While Mayumi walked back into the village, the villagers cheered and applauded. The elder gave them a gift of 2000 gold currency as thanks, much to the soldiers dismay as they had to carry it all. Then, Mayumi got an internal radio transmission.
"Mayumi, the General is calling you back to base," Asami told her through the radio.
"Rodger," Mayumi responded. "Nekos, we are going back."
"Yes Ma'am," Private Neko saluted. The elder saluted the soldiers and Mayumi as they left the village.15: The Sunk'n Norwegian
The following evening, while some of the tanks were still recovering, Vanissa, the SU-76M, left the base to go out for a drink. She made her way toward the seaport and found a sailor's tavern called 'The Sunk'n Norwegian' and she walked inside. It seemed like a den of debauchery, violence, and sin. The bar maid was the first one to look at her before all the neko sailors looked at her.
"'Oo the 'ell are you?" the older neko asked in a ragged voice.
"Name's Vanissa, lass," she replied with her pirated, Russian accent. "Who might ye be?"
"Name's Nancy. I run the place." She eyed Vanissa up and down. "You military or you steal that armor?"
"Factorian military, lass," she said with a proper salute.
"Alright, just sit down. What can I get ya?"
"I'll take some mead," Vanissa said sitting on a barstool.
"You drink like a pirate too," Nancy muttered to herself, filling a tankard.
"Nothin'. 'Ere." Nancy gave her the big tankard of mead. Vanissa was used to this honey wine as she had drunken it many times before, often before deployment. While Vanissa drank, she had some time to think about her recent drilling and how she could improve herself, when she heard the door open. "Usual?" Nancy asked.
"Aye," a familiar voice said. Vanissa turned and saw Olivia trundle in as she sat next to her. "Ay, what's this D-class doin' 'ere?" she asked with a smug expression.
"Lass, I'm having a drink," Vanissa answered.
"Same military?" Nancy asked.
"Da," Vanissa nodded.
"But not the same class," Olivia said, taking her drink of whiskey and oil and drinking half of it.
"Class?" Nancy asked, raising a bushy eyebrow.
"She's a destroyer, so that's D-class. I'm a medium-weight tank, so I'm M-class. That also means I can hold more of this whiskey!"
"As if," Vanissa retorted drinking the rest of her mead. Before Nancy knew it, she had a drinking contest on her hands. "10," Vanissa slurred as she set down her tenth empty tankard.
"That's... bullshit," Olivia hiccupped.
"What's wrong, you only hold nine drinks, lassie?" Vanissa teased. Olivia growled.
"Oi, if you're gonna fight, do it outside!" Nancy warned. Olivia looked at Vanissa and smirked, getting up and walking out, Vanissa behind her. They faced each other outside in the cold, harbor wind and dropped their guns, pulling up their fists.
"Come at me, pirate," Olivia teased and Vanissa punched her first. Some sailors gathered at the windows to watch the two women fight.
"I'm stronger than ye!" Vanissa yelled.
"Whatever!" Olivia swung her foot around to kick her in the ankles but missed as Vanissa jumped over her leg and grabbed it, swinging her her around. Olivia caught herself before she could fall over and she sped up for a punch, as did Vanissa and they punched each other.
"Augh!" Olivia grunted.
"Chert!" Vanissa coughed. Nancy then walked to the open doorway to see the finishing move as the two tanks fell onto their backs simultaneously. The two of them were lying on the cold ground, looking at each other through their swollen faces and they started to drunkenly laugh for a good three minutes. Nancy smiled and some sailors cheered. They helped each other up and Nancy offered them more drinks inside where they brought their mugs together with a bar-wide cheer.
"So come take a drink and drown your sorrows..." the two of them sang with the tavern band as they drunk their drinks. After they had had enough and the song had finished, Olivia left some payment and the two of them stumbled back to the base.
"Y-You know... this... this was very, very fun," Olivia said as she wobbled around from tread to tread.
"Da, I agree," Vanissa smirked, suppressing a heave. "We should... we should totally do this again sometime."
"Aye aye, of course love," Olivia giggled and gave Vanissa a noogie.
"Ay, stop it!" she laughed.
"Holy shit we're completely trashed."
"Well, we better see to bed, love." Olivia let go of Larissa, wobbling all the way back to the M-class barrack. Vanissa made her way back to the D-class barrack in a similar fashion, only falling over twice and vomiting once.16: Karaoke Night
With the recent beating our platoon took, I decided to bring the tanks back to Laperm for a brief respite and to find a way to increase some morale. I was given a few ideas, all of which I saw through to. We had Chie's traditional Japanese festival and after the fireworks, Felicia would put on a concert, to help realize her dream of being a pop idol. A rather odd dream for a Sherman Easy 8, but I digress. Anyway, after her wonderful concert, Natalia came up to me.
"General, I have a suggestion," she said, with a mild fluster in her face.
"Oh, and what would that be?" I asked her.
"Um... seeing Felicia perform in such a way gave me the idea of going to a traditional Japanese karaoke place."
"That sounds like fun. I know a place across town, but I leave it optional so if you want to go then feel free, however you must provide your own funding."
"But... General," she says, almost looking sad. Oh God, what have I done this time?
"What is it?" I bring myself to ask.
"I was... hoping... that you would come with us."
"Who's the us?" At that moment, Katya and Veronika peeked in. "I see. Is there... anyone else?" I got up to look and was half-expecting to see my entire army waiting in the hallway and out each door, but Natalia stopped me.
"Well, I guess they would appreciate it someone was there to overlook things. Alright." I could see Natalia smile to herself out of the corner of my eye.
So with that, those who wanted to go to the karaoke place, which was the entire army, in Cymric, loaded up on oil and we all marched out. As we marched, I could hear some excited murmuring about who would sing what.
"What are you gonna sing?" Rachel asked Stella.
"I'm not quite sure yet," she answered with a laugh.
"This is nice," I heard Mary, our newest A-class unit, an FV3805, say to herself.
"That may be true, but you haven't seen combat yet," Evie was telling her.
"Yes, that's true. What's it like?"
"Depending on what level you are against the enemy, it'll be a piece of cake or absolute hell."
"Well that put a damper on my mood..."
"Why not just hum to yourself?"
"Jolly idea," Mary said with a smile and she began to hum Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" to herself. Evie groaned on the inside and facepalmed. We arrived back in Cymric a few minutes later and headed into the Karaoke place.
"Privyet, General," the woman working said as I walked in first.
"Do I know you?" I asked her.
"Not really, but I know you. You have IS-2 in your army, da?"
"Who are you?"
"Privyet, Vitaliya!" Tatyana said as she came inside.
"Ah, sister. How are you?" This Vitaliya might be that IS-7 I was hearing rumors about.
"I see," I said, regaining control of the conversation. "You must be that legendary IS-7 I've heard so much about."
"Da, General," Vitaliya said.
"The Factorian Army could use your skills."
"And leave my business? Nyet, I couldn't do that. Not yet anyway."
"Well then I guess I'll be having some rooms then." I gave her about 50,000 currency for those who wanted to sing.
"Spasibo, General." Those who wanted to sing went in to sing while everyone else went shopping or up to the onsens to relax. The girls distributed themselves by country and Vitaliya went with the Russian units to show how the Karaoke machine worked. "You select a song from the computer here and then it'll load itself up. Please let me demonstrate." In her case she queued up the Soviet national anthem. The march music started and when the lyrics appeared on the screen she began to sing. "Soiuz nerushimyj respublik svobodnykh Splotila naveki Velikaia Rus..." Natalia and the other girls in the room all saluted as Vitaliya sang.
Meanwhile, I saw Evie standing outside the room that the English tanks had chosen.
"Evie, why are you out here?"
"Mary's singing," she replied, sipping her tea.
"What's so wrong about that?" I gently opened the door.
"Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down, never gonna turn around and desert you!" Mary was singing.
I gently closed the door.
"See?" Evie asked me.
"Yeah." With that, I walked away.